I started my new trip around the sun with a run along the lake with a new group of friends, I had a good breakfast then took a solid 3 hour nap.  I’ve had a productive weekend, I’ve had a well weekend, I’ve had a healthy weekend and if this sets the stage for the coming year I am in for such a beautiful time!

Marathon training is coming along nicely, I am on target.  I had a few hiccups dealing with a sense of obligation but made the choice to honor my feelings and I am happy with my decision: my official training group was technically just fine but I found myself running solo for the Saturday long runs and this was not my preference.  I have gone back to training with Team World Vision, my father’s team.  I trained with them during my foundation training and it feels good to be running with them again.  Just as you should listen to your body, you need to listen to your spirit.

If anyone were to ask me I would tell them that having a training program that feels right to them is essential.  This week was a cutback week but before that I officially made my debut in the double-digit club by running 10 miles!  It felt great and I felt as though I could have run longer.  Yesterday was the last time I will run single digit miles until the taper in September.  Between now and then the miles are on the increase with an occasional cut-back week for recovery.  I’m so excited!

(photo & caption thanks to my youngest)

double digits

clearly I am not brand loyal ;) (adidas hat, brooks sports bra, nike shirt, athleta capris, asics shoes)

I was scrolling through Instagram last week and noticed that the Detroit Marathon was almost at its 100 countdown . . . wait, Detroit is a week AFTER Chicago.  Oh boy.

Last week we had an 8 mile long run, I did it and while I felt tired towards the end, I felt awesome to have finished it.  But in most cases your long run miles increase each week which meant that this week could have been 10 miles (I know, what ever happened to 9).  I felt nervous.  I felt like I could totally do it but inside I was hoping that this would be a plateau week where we match last weeks mileage.  It was a my fear of yet another double digit gets another week to dissipate.  My running coach gives us time frames to run instead of miles; I’m not sure why since the marathon is defined by distance and not time but he mentioned something about deciding the time to run based on how we were feeling on any given day.  I sometimes worry if I am doing enough, I feel that as a beginning the top end of his spectrum would be too much.  I am going to mentally prepare myself for running 10 miles next Saturday.  I just put that out into the universe, it is going to happen.

#sportsbrasquad is a social movement of women embracing their bodies and the rising summer temperatures by running in a sports bra alone on top.  A month or so ago I would look at cute sport bras and think that once I paid my abs more attention and got things right I would don this look.  Then I learned of the movement and went on my whole rant about being labeled “not a real runner” and my attitude shifted.  If it is hot enough I am going to run in one of my cute sports bras!  But I used my shirt to wipe my ever sweaty face, so how do I handle that???  If you’ve got experience please chime in; it is getting hot and I’d love to be as cool as possible, I’m good with my body image (especially if and when I’m being judged by a dog walker or mere park goer) but I NEED a way to wipe my face, especially if I’m wearing sunscreen.

not a real runner. . .

Says who!?!  (usually non-runners)

There are a lot of people who run faster than me, that does not mean that they are real runners and I’m not.  It means that they are faster.

I am up somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00 am on days that I run (4-5 days a week). I’ve run when it was 27 degrees outside and the sun had not yet begun to shine. I talk about running more than my immediate family cares to hear about it. I plan for it, I prepare for it and I know that I’ll feel so much better for having done it.  Get this: I even enjoy it.

Every runner is different, we each have our own race to run and our own personal goals and I cheer them all on (myself included-I commonly root for myself during my runs).  In that moment they CHOSE to move beyond a calm resting heart rate and a sweat-free brow, they chose to run.  As someone who clearly recalls not being a runner I can attest that running was no where on my list of things to do.  ever.

Now that I got that off my chest, here’s a recap of my week in training, this is week 5 of marathon training:

Monday – turned into a recovery day thanks to an “emergency” condo meeting that lasted way too long. . .
Tuesday – 3.89 miles
Wednesday – core and strength training (leg day)
Thursday – 3.71 miles
Friday – REST DAY (and boy was I thankful)
Saturday – 8 miles, of some rolling hills along the North Branch of the Chicago river, this was my longest run EVER (by a couple of miles) but it felt good and afterwards even I took a decent selfie.
Sunday – 3.1 miles (Shake of Sunday / Just Do It Sunday 5k), I took NO walking breaks and had all negative splits, average pace 10’14” :) then I took a classic Pilates mat class and indulged in the steam room.

The week prior to this was NeoCon and I feel off the wagon, so I knew that this week was going to be challenging.  Having no long run the week prior was definitely felt yesterday.  Actually yesterday was the first time I truly felt fatigue while running; I chose to take walk breaks because the distance was a few miles longer than I had run before and starting back up got harder and harder after the half-way point.  This morning I didn’t wake up so stiff that moving was painful but I did feel it in my quads which tells me that I need to focus on strengthening my hamstrings and glutes, I’m sure the mild terrain played a factor in my muscle soreness; but I’d rather train smarter than hope for flat runs.

Sunblock makes me sweat.  For obvious reasons I want to protect my skin, so I’ll probably struggle through this; but OMG does sunblock make my face extra sweaty, and makes it beads up.  I use a physical sunblock (zinc oxide instead of chemicals) maybe I’d have different results if I went with a chemical sunscreen??  This is the second zinc based sunscreen that I’ve tried (the first dripped into my eyes),  I’m afraid that the chemical based product will be even more prone to dripping into my eyes so I’m reluctant to give it a shot.  I’ve been using the Neutrogena Sheer Zinc; it does leave a slight cast (makes my yellow undertones look more pink) but it does not drip into my eyes and after multiple face blottings with my shirt I still felt like I had to wash it off because it was still there.  On my body I used Bare Republic Clearscreen, I don’t feel like it made me any sweatier and I didn’t burn or noticeably tan but then I was largely running a tree covered path.  It smells pretty good, didn’t make my skin feel immediately sticky/dirty.  This one is a spray, if you choose to try it don’t forget that you still should rub it in for even distribution.

So there it is, my week back on the wagon.  Today’s run was a prime example of how training makes all the difference so I am all the more committed to sticking to it this week.  I kept catching myself creeping up in pace, which feels good, but I need to train to sustain that pace for longer durations.  I think it may be doable.

what just happened??

NeoCon, corporate entertaining, alumni events, graduations and training derailment. 

I have missed two morning runs and a couple of workouts. I might be too tired to really feel bad and I know that after this week I’ll be back on track:

I need to get a (multiple) good nights sleep, stay hydrated, eat vegetables, wear flat supportive shoes and get back into my training routine. This time next week – I’ll have a whole new story!

my week of training

On Saturday 5/20 my marathon training officially began with Team ELH, we met at Oz Park and as a slower member of the team we ran around the park in loops.  I made it around five times before the clouds opened up and the cold rain started . . . time to call it a day.  Saturday was also my daughters prom and I had hand maiden duties awaiting me.

I didn’t run again until Tuesday because I just didn’t feel too great.  It wasn’t the cold rain, it was my allergies.  I discovered a new medicine, Nasacort, and my life is different (seriously).  So Tuesday I go for a run and about two thirds of the way through I get a horrible side stitch.  I stop the run and keep walking, start to feel better so I start a new run and it comes back.  :|

Wednesday was the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, 3.5 miles with my coworkers and I’ve had a terrible week of running so far.  I finished as I predicted I would, between 35-40 minutes.  I listed to my father and my coach, if you see water drink.  I don’t carry anything with me and this clearly was not going to be a PR.  Throwing my used cup on the ground felt so wrong, so so wrong.

Saturday I was back at Oz Park, it’s a beautiful little park but I did not want to run around it for an hour, apparently no one else on our team wanted to either so we headed to the lake after a round of dynamic stretches.  The weather was beautiful (thank you Dad for discouraging the long sleeved shirt) and running through Lincoln Park was a nice alternate to the Oz Park loop.  We ran past/through the zoo and headed north along the lake.  30 out then 30 in.  When we hit our turn around point my running partner decided to keep going a bit stating that she would catch up to me.  I felt great but knowing that I still had half an hour to go I didn’t want to over commit, my previous long run record was 50 minutes and this week had not exactly been perfect in the training department.

Most of my runs are solo sans music, so being alone was not a problem and the inner trail of the lake front is a beautiful place to run.  Not too long into my return I saw a familiar face (figure really, I didn’t have on my glasses but I recognized the orange shirt and the tall figure), it was one of the TWV runners from my Dad’s team.  They run in pace groups so at this point I knew I would be seeing my father shortly.  Two more groups of familiar faces and as I hit the pedestrian tunnel there he was leading his group.  I think that it took a minute to register with him that I was running past him but it was really cool seeing them all out there, I kinda miss running with a large organized group and then enjoying a post-run breakfast.  My partner never did catch up with me.  I continued along the path until I noticed that nothing looked familiar.  Mentally I played back the way that I went out and at no point did I remember basketball courts, so I asked a stranger and sure enough I missed my turn, the zoo was behind me.  I found my way to Oz Park and I was at 4.93 miles and not quite 60 minutes so with one more loop I broke the 5 mile barrier :D and hit my target time!  Once all the runners had returned we finished up with a round of static stretching and a reminder that Sunday is not a rest day, it is a recovery day so RUN.  When I got home I checked my app and got some awesome news, I had all negative splits!

Regulating pace is a challenge for me so I am particularly proud of this!

Sunday was recovery day, our instructions were to listen to your body above all else but to run 20-30 minutes.  I’ve decided my recovery day goal is to run half of my long run so long as my body is in agreement.  So, thirty minutes with pre and post run stretches.  I was up early and finished before so many other runners even got started, and this time I tried running with music.  The week started off bleh but I feel like I ended strong so I am pleased!